It’s true, the watermarking facilities currently in Lightroom 2 are a bit limited. Ok, very limited! But all is not lost… Lightroom plug-in programmer Timothy Armes came to the rescue with the well known LR2/Mogrify plug-in, and LR/Mogrify before that, adding fully configurable presentation options. LR2/Mogrify is donationware, and the trial allows you to process up to 10 images at a time, so you can see how well it works.
At first glance, the LR2/Mogrify interface can looking a little complicated, but that’s just because it’s so powerful. Let’s cover some of the basics that you’ll use when watermarking or signing your images.
The first thing you’ll need to do is install the LR2/Mogrify plug-in. Tim’s written full instructions on his website, so I won’t cover that here. In short, Windows users need to install both ImageMagick and the plug-in, whereas Mac users only need to install the plug-in.
Once LR2/Mogrify is installed correctly, you’ll see the Post-Process Actions section in the lower left corner of the Lightroom Export dialog. LR2/Mogrify can be used in conjunction with any of the other standard export options, such as resizing, sharpening, etc., and before any other export plug-ins.
First of all, let’s look at borders. Click on Borders in the Post-Process Actions and press Insert to add that panel to the Export Options. To add a border, select the width for each edge and the colour – and repeat for additional borders. You can alternative different widths and colours to create more interesting borders, or you can just keep it simple. The results of layering multiple borders can be seen below.
Now how about signing your image? Going back to the Post-Process Actions section and selecting Text Annotation is one option. You can choose the size, font, and positioning of the Text Annotation. You can even use that same Text Annotation section to add the EXIF data about your image using the ‘Add Token’ button to select the information to show.
One thing to be aware of – if nothing seems to be happening with the Text Annotation, try a different font. Mogrify can be a bit fussy about which fonts it will use! If your preferred font isn’t working, you can always use a graphical watermark instead – we’ll come back to those in a moment.
And here’s the result of those combined settings:
But what if you need to overlay a heavier watermark, or you want to add a graphical logo instead? Again, it’s simply a case of selecting the correct Post-Process Action – in this case the ‘Graphical Watermark’ option. You’ll need to have created your watermark image in a pixel editor such as Photoshop, and if you want to include transparency, you’re best off using PSD rather than PNG files, as there are some controls unavailable for PNG resizing.
These are just a few of the options available – have a play, and see what you can come up with. To get you started, I’ve uploaded the Export Templates and watermarks that I’ve used – you’re welcome to download them from here: http://www.lightroomqueen.com/downloads/mogrify-downloads.zip If you unzip the downloaded folder, you’ll find 2 folders inside – ‘Export Templates Mogrify’ and ‘Watermarks’. To install the Export Templates, put the ‘Export Templates Mogrify’ folder inside the Export Presets folder – you can check the location on your system by going to Lightroom’s Preferences dialog, choosing the Presets tab, and pressing the ‘Show Lightroom Presets Folder’ button. Obviously the presets are looking for watermarks and fonts on my system, so you’ll need to update the locations to point to the files on your own computer system.
If you have any problems, drop by www.lightroomforums.net and we’ll talk you through it!